Mars Miniatures

Mars Miniatures

Friday, July 31, 2015

Ziggurat Of Doom Redux, Part 3 - Doom And Glory

Here concludes the last part of the "Ziggurat of Doom" battle report.

Poopytail loses his last wound and falls to the ground whimpering, as cruel goblins stab him over and over again.  How much sorrow can we witness in one battle report?

Then finally at last, some good news!  With a flash, the Bullywug King diverts some power to summon a Cockatrice... The fabled Chicken of Doom.  This temple is named for him... Chicken-Itza!  This should help buy time for the defenders.  We still need that darned  Ace of Hearts to pop up and summon the Slann and stop the Orc reinforcements.  The Cockatrice flys up high... where will it swoop to?  Lots of targets to choose from...

Balin and Fangs continue slaying Orcs, but can you see more Orcs coming behind them from the West?

With the Dwarves on the steps, Minnie and some Orcs go to work on the last Crystal.

The Chicken of Doom swoops down on Minnie Castavet, of course! Its up to this chickenwing to save the day.  Her familiar rat and snotling companion look around with worried eyes...

And Minnie is torn to shreds, along with a couple of Orcs.  The rest run away screaming.  If they survive, they will tell their runtling children of the horror of Chicken-Itza.

And finally, a flash of light from above, and a low rumbling shakes the earth, as Slann warriors rise from the spawning pool.  Legendary warriors from ages past arise!

The Orcs on the steps look to their right and do a double take as enemies appear out of nowhere!

The Slann attack, blowing ancient warhorns not heard in centuries.  Kremlo the Slann leads the attack and Orc bodies hit the floor!

The Cockatrice flies up and chases down the Orcs who were trying to flank Balin.  The Bullywug King, free from casting the summoning spell, heads down to lend a hand in the battle below.

Balin and Fangs are cutting through Orcs like a woodcutter among saplings.  Glorious slaughter ensues.

You want to play games?
Okay, I play with you.
You wanna play rough?
Say hello to my little friend!
There! You like that?
You think you can take me?
You need a army, you gonna take me!  

The Orcs in the center break and are pursued!

One last heartbreak.  Just as the Orcs are routed in the East, Balin looks over to see that Fangs McGillycutty the Raptor had died as well. You will be remembered smart girl!

The alliance.  Balin and the Bullywug.  All hail!

What a battle, on a knife edge, it was.

The Bullywug King uses his magic to heal up the fallen Dwarves.

He also summons a Giant Winged Bear as a first payment to Balin.  Balin immediately bonds with his new pet.

Balin:  I shall call you Mr Maloonigans!

Suddenly a fizzling sound is heard from the Last Crystal...

The last remaining Crystal drains of power.  The Bullywug King can do no more magic summoning. In order to summon more creatures and more Slann, he requires energon crystals that might be found in the Carrion Caves.  He cannot send his Slann to do this, since someone has to guard the Temple.  Balin agrees to find these Crystals.

But before that, the Bullywug King asks that Balin learn how to expel the chaos forces that bind him and his companions.  Balin explains he has no time, because he has heard of more chaos dwarves nearby that need his help. Which is where he was heading to, before getting teleported here.  After finding his friends, he will set out on the quest for more Crystals.  The Bullywug King warns him of the dangers of Chaos and how it will eventually corrupt him.  Balin promises he wont turn to the darkside and that upon his return, he will cleanse himself and his dwarves of the taint of chaos.

Bullywug King: (sighs) Told you, I did. Reckless is he. Now matters are worse.
A disembodied Jedi voice: That dwarf is our last hope.
Bullywug King: There is another
A disembodied Jedi voice: Ah yes, another Skywalker...
Bullywug King: Skywalker?  No, another dwarf who can bring stability to Moria.  He comes from a distant Western land with 7 Kingdoms ruled by an Iron Throne.
A disembodied Jedi voice: This doesnt sound canonical at all!
Bullywug King: (sighs) I dont have time to explain it, please read this blog from the beginning and get caught up, ghostly Sir Alec Guinness...
A disembodied Jedi voice: A Jedi always pays his debts!


And there it is.  Probably my favorite battle so far in this project.  Like a good boxing or mma match, there were plenty of back and forth moments.  Those Orcs kept getting really high die rolls for reinforcements.

I am really getting used to the rules and the implications.  Routed units pretty much stay routed in 1st edition.  And retreating units, usually end up routing.  1st edition isnt pretty, but again, it gets the job done.  For me, the story's the thing, and what a story that was.  I really enjoy not worrying about points.  I love building scenarios, almost like historical wargaming, but using my imagination instead.  Although I will admit, I have and will use historical set piece battles as inspiration.  I like the fact that 1st edition has so few special rules to keep in the back of your mind.  Its got alot of modifiers, but what game doesnt.  I prefer the modifiers on a summary sheet, rather than a bunch of special rules for each figure or unit.  I must remember that providing choices in the scenario is what makes for good gaming.  Choices and consequences.  No matter what rules you use, those two things must bear out in the scenario, otherwise you are just throwing dice.  Ok, enough with the ruminating...

Hold on, I wonder if Age of Sigmar, might work for me as well though.  I feel dirty for thinking it, since I want to think of myself as a proper old-school grognard.  But, its got round bases!  It doesnt seem to be a point tournament game.  It seems really streamlined.  Im not interested in the models or fluff, just the rules.

Meh, go home, self, you are high on die rolls...  ;p


Next post:  Winter is coming... to Moria?!

Bonus feature: Soundtrack To This Post!
Music I listened to while playing the game...
Hawkwind - Warrior On The Edge Of Time
King Crimson - In The Court Of The Crimson King
Rainbow (w Dio) - On Stage Live
Yes - Tales From The Topographic Oceans

Ziggurat Of Doom Redux, Part 2 - Apocalypto

The game started and looked like it would be a cakewalk for the Dwarves.  But now Im starting to get a little anxious.  Afterall, a Dwarven loss here would be disastrous for this blog's fluff.  Balin is supposed to be a badass!  Also, I was hoping the Slann would play a major part in the storylines ahead.  If the Bullywug King is slain before summoning, what to do?  I already committed him to being the "last of his kind."   Annihilation or glory, its all in the hands of the Dice Gods... let the dice fall where they may!  I keep forgetting, that the unofficial slogan of the Moria Reclamation Project is "a tale of probable doom and definite woe..." or something like that.

The 4 Orcs from the South make their way to one Crystal, while the 3 archers make for the other.  The Orcs now control both Crystals, which means d6+2 Orc reinforcements per turn!  The Dwarves are sure to be swamped in a tsunami of greenskins!

Guthnog Bristlenose loses more Orcs and is now under half strength and fails their morale check.  Mad Furrikson reforms his unit and faces South, leaving Poopytail to chase down the running Orcs.

But now there is a hard decision to make.  4 Orcs are at the Crystal, and 8 goblins are in the South.  Fighting one of those units will leave them exposed to flanking.  If they hold their ground, the Orcs will have both Crystals for the reinforcement bonus.  What to do?  They decide to hold.

4 Orcs appear in the East, just in time to see a running Orc rout off the board.  Balin eyes the 4 newcomers who are immediately intimidated.  They decide to wait for backup before approaching further.

Stansfield the Goblin:  10-40, requesting back up units. Bring me everyone.
Underling: What do you mean everyone?
Stansfield the Goblin:  EVERYONEeeeeee....!

While the Dwarves hold their ground, Minnie Castavet casts a lightning bolt that fries poor Jezreel Ironhand.

Blix:  Higher higher, burning fire, making music like a choir. 

At last, Poopytail has driven off Guthnog, and now charges the Darkhold Goblins!

Which leaves Mad Furrikson free to charge the 4 Orcs at the Crystal.  Minnie Castavet seems a bit nervous now.

Backup has arrived in the East!  6 more Orcs charge in, bringing in a total of 10 greenskins in that area.  Confident about their numbers they begin to climb the ziggurat steps.  Balin and Baldrik are ready for them.

But now a hole has opened up, right in the center!  3 Orc archers climb the central steps and begin loosing arrows at the Bullywug.  None of the arrows hit, fortunately.

Then disaster strikes!  Minnie Castavet uses her Thunderhand spell to triple her attacks at Strength 6.  Even against Toughness E she only needs to roll 3's or more.  And she rolls a 4,4,5!  The Crystal comes crashing down and de-powers with a fizzle. Now the Bullywug King may only draw a card on a roll of 4+ every turn!  OH no!  Real danger...

Another 6 Orcs appear in the West.  They have a yummy choice of targets!  Someone is getting hacked in the back... Poopytail who is down to one wound, or the Dwarves.  Impending woe, I hear you calling!

And that wretched Minnie Castavet is going to Thunderhand the last Crystal!  If she does that, the Slann/Dwarf alliance is doomed!  Doomed I tell ya!

Balin leaves Baldrik to hold the 10 Orcs in the East.  He gets shot by a lucky arrow, and now he is mad!  Fangs the Raptor comes down and prepares to help out.

Another Dwarf bites the dust!  Its Spikes Harveywotan.  Mad Furrikson urges his remaining comrades to pursue the Orcs in front of them, and hopefully get ahold of that pesky Minnie Castavet before she shatters that last Crystal.  They in turn are pursued by more Orcs.

Balin and the Raptor kill 2 archers and watch the 3rd run for the hills.

Baldrik has his hands full against a horde of Orcs.  He smashes them over and over with his mace.  Thump... thump, thump... smacking brain pans all day long.  How long can he keep it up though?

Mad Furrikson: We got you now, witch!
But Minnie runs off again, just out of reach.  With a faster movement, she will always be out of their reach!

And now another 5 Orcs arrive in the south, the Dwarves will be surrounded for sure, no matter who they attack!

Baldrik falls!  Balin and Fangs the Raptor snarl and leap to avenge him.

Mad Furrikson has the great idea of moving up the steps of the ziggurat to avoid getting surrounded. This is getting intense.

This is where we hold them.
This is where we fight!
And this is where THEY DIE! 

Next post: Doom And Glory

Ziggurat Of Doom Redux, Part 1 - Its A Tower, err... Ziggurat Defense Game

This is a 3-part battle report based loosely on the "Ziggurat of Doom" scenario as found in the Warhammer 1st edition White Box set. Since we already showed off all the newly painted units in the last post... let's get straight to the action!

Balin, son of Fundin, Lord of Moria was surrounded by a flash of magical light.  When his eyes adjusted, he found himself and his companions transported to a ziggurat in a humid jungle that could only be The Temple of Chicken-Itza in the Savage Lands, far below Moria.  His 2nd in Command, Mad Furrikson gave a low growl, how he hated magic, that mad one.

Balin:  YOU!  Who are you, to teleport me without my permission?
Bullywug King:  I am the Lizard King, I can do anything!
Mad Furrikson:  (whispers)  he is no Jim Morisson, if ya ask me...
Bullywug King:  Hundreds of years ago, our two kinds built the Undermountains.  You Dwarves built Khazad-Dum, the Mines of Moria.  We Slann built below your Underdeeps of Moria, this land... The Savage Lands.  We lived in harmony until Chaos came and destroyed our peaceful existence.  The Orcs drove you out, Chaos annihilated my people.  I am the Last Bullywug King!  I have waited for your kind to return and here you are.  The power of this Temple is failing and the enemy will soon penetrate its defenses, but I can still use the last of its energy to help us both!
Balin:  And if we ally ourselves with you, what help can you offer?
Bullywug King: I am a summoner, I can summon great and vicious beasties that will help you reconquer your Kingdom.  Dwarf King, your enemies are mine also!  Together, we can crush the Orcs, Dark Elves, Undead, and whoever else from our lands.  In fact you have no choice!  In moments, the tribe of Orcs known as the Metal Magic Clan will attack us! 
Balin:  Hmmm... this place doesnt look very defensible. 

The Bullywug King raises his staff and suddenly crystals sprout from the spawning pools.
Bullywug King: I can summon reinforcements for us with the power of these crystals.  But you must make sure I am not disrupted.
Balin:  My companions and I are powerful heroes, but we are only seven.  What can we do against a whole tribe of Orcs?

The Bullywug King raises his staff and suddenly a giant Sabertooth Tiger and a Raptor appear.
Bullywug King:  Here are some quick summoned creatures to help us start!
Poopytail the Sabretooth Tiger purrs, while Fangs McGillycutty the Raptor snarls.

Overview of the board.  Enemies will approach from the West, South and East edges.  3d6 Orcs will appear on turn 1 from a random edge.  Every turn d6+1 orcs will also appear from a random edge.  There is a card deck as well.  Every turn a card will be drawn to determine when the Bullywug King will have finished his summoning.  This Slann Summon Card (Ace of hearts) is shuffled with 5 other cards, and then placed under 6 more cards, which means it will arrive in turn 7 at the earliest and turn 12 at the latest.  When drawn, 6 Slann appear, and it also triggers the end of Orc reinforcements.

The deck is composed of mostly number cards which signify no event.  There are 2 other ace cards in the deck: one that means a Cockatrice summoned creature arrives for the Slann/Dwarf side and another for a goblin spell caster arrival event.
The Bullywug King and his pet Raptor are at the top of the Ziggurat.

Balin and Baldrik Backbreaker take the highground crossroads, so they can protect the Bullywug above them, or act as a reserve for any direction that needs help.  If the Bullywug King dies, it is a catastrophic loss for the Dwarves/Slann and a Decisive Victory for the Orcs.

The Western Crystal is guarded by Poopytail the Sabretooth Tiger, Mad Furrikson, and Antor Axebreath.  If the Orcs control both Crystals, they gain a +1 to their reinforcements every turn (d6+2).  This represents the loss of power in the Temples energy which allows more Orcs to pass the jungle defenses around the Temple.

Protecting the Eastern Crystal are Jezreel Ironhand, Napper Grundin, and Spikes Harveywotan.
Also the crystals can be destroyed. They have 3 hitpoints each and have a Toughness of E (thats T5 for those of you who play new fangled editions of Warhammer!)

Leonidas: Spartans! Ready your breakfast and eat hearty... For tonight, we dine in hell! 

Start of Battle:
10 Orcs arrive in the West!  Led by their hero, Guthnog Bristlenose.
The Orcs are in a tight formation.  The Dwarves of both Crystals decide to unify their forces and form a unit to face the incoming Orcs.  Of course this means, they must leave one Crystal unguarded.  Balin and Baldrik hold their position above.  Poopytail, hides behind the trees and waits for an opportune time to pounce!

6 Orcs appear in the East!  3 archers are among them.

They have a choice of going up the steps to where Balin is, or to take the now unguarded Eastern Crystal.

The Orcs move in fast!
 I will detail one turn of combat, so those unfamiliar with 1st edition can see the differences.
The Dwarves charge, but is met with a counter-charge from the Orcs.  They clash in the middle.  Charging adds +1 to hit, countercharging negates that bonus.  The Sabretooth maneuvers around the flanks and next turn is ready to attack the rear of the Orc formation.

4 wounds on the Orcs, 1 fails to save.   3 wounds on the Dwarves, 1 failed save, which means Jezreel Ironhand loses a hitpoint.  The Orcs lose the combat resolution 4 to 3 (add wounds and failed saves) and are pushed back 2".  The victorious Dwarves are allowed to flank up to 2 figures per flank if they have any figures in a 2nd rank.  They do, so Napper Grundin moves to flank the left side.  The Orcs may turn to face the flanker if it has a 2nd rank, they do and avoid a flanking penalty.  1st edition has no rank bonus, but if a unit is flanked there is a -2 to hit penalty for all figures in a unit.

4 Orcs appear in the south and can grab either of the Crystals!

The 6 Orcs in the East split up, 3 orcs climb the Eastern steps of the Temple, and 3 archers stay below to pepper the Dwarves above.

Mad Furrikson and the Dwarves continue pushing the Orcs back.  The Sabretooth is happily munching on an Orc.

Balin and Baldrik charge the Orcs on the steps and make short work of them.
Balin: Next time, bring more friends!

Then a special card is drawn.  Its a goblin spell caster!  Minnie Castavet and her pets.  After randomly rolling up her stats and spells... she has Lightning for range attacks, Thunderhand for close combat, and a heal spell.  She also has useless spells like Detect Life, Lock Door, and Telepathy.  I suppose Telepathy saves her money on cell phone bills at least.

BlixBlack as midnight, black as pitch, blacker than the foulest witch.

She and 7 goblins appear in the SouthWest.  Not good for Mad Furrikson and friends.  They better defeat Guthnog Bristlenose and his boys soon, or else they will be surrounded!

Meanwhile 2 Orcs are killed on the steps, and the last runs for it.  The archers are able to cause a wound on Baldrik, who takes a Morale test and succeeds. (Characters must test every time they are wounded)
Of course it helps to have the general right next to you.
Balin:  Steady now Baldrik... Its just a flesh wound!

Next post: Part 2 - Apocalypto